Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Legacy of Beauty

This little note fell out of my 8 year old's Bible the other day.  My heart was so moved, and then twisted in anger a bit.  Not at my beautiful daughter, who is already beginning to see herself through the eyes of her Creator. But in anger, for a society that tells her she is supposed to look a certain way, dress a certain way, and that in pursuing these things she will find happiness.
I guess my real anger stems from within.  And I question myself.  If I haven't gotten this through my head, in 30 years of existence, how is my daughter ever going to do it?  And how on earth am I going to be the one who teaches it to her.
I spend a lot of time and energy on the pursuit of health.  I cook, from scratch, sometimes for hours at a time.  I workout 4 or more times a week.  I spend, what could be considered, a fortune on supplements and the such.  So, how does this translate to my daughter?  I wonder?  I hope and pray that my pursuit of health doesn't lead her into a pursuit of some said body image that is unlike her own and therefore unachievable.  
My little love caught me the other day looking at my rear in some jeans in the mirror.  She said, "Why do you always do that?"  So I guess it wasn't the first time she observed that.  You know how you do it, turn, look over your shoulder, try to get the most flattering angle...maybe you glance at a part of your body you hate and whisper some evil to yourself about how you need to do more crunches or pick up that dusty set of dumbbells.  Maybe it's a slender type of day, so you pat yourself on the back and think about how much better you are than you used to be.  It's all a game, so why do we play it?  Why do we change our moods or determine our happiness by what is staring us back in a piece of glass?
I don't know if I have any answers for this.  I know it continues within me.  I know it comes and goes with the cycles of the month, with the moods of my loved ones, with the turns of events in or against my favor.  On my best days, it doesn't consume me and maybe that is all I can hope for.
I read this post, of a woman's similar struggle and this post about how fake the fitness model industry is, both really shed a lot of light on the subject.    
I am trying so hard to evolve my thinking, to judge my body for what it can do, not for what it looks like.  So today, as I pass the mirror, I am okay I have a little bulge at the top of my pants.  I've had four freakin' kids and it doesn't hang over my pants...which I feel like I should mention, are very fitted!  Maybe I won't obsess over that little squishy part under my butt cheek that I can't get rid of even though I do hundreds of squats on a regular workout day.  Today I will pass by the mirror and see an amazing, strong person, who tries hard in everything she does and cares for her children with all she has.  Today I will see me.

Who are you that lies when you stare in my face
Telling me that I’m just a trace of the person I once was
Cause I just can't tell if you're telling the truth or a lie
On you I just can't rely. after all you're just a piece of glass
--Cademon's Call
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